Monthly Archives: May 2011

9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors

It’s a neat little adventure game. The writing and translation are rough in spots, the production values are rock bottom, and the story, at least initially, seems awfully derivative. But the game ends up going to some neat, quirky places, and the story ends up being told quite well. In particular, it has this weird obsession with scientific trivia that I find endearing. Continue reading

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Books! The Wise Man’s Fear and True Grit

About a third of the way through, I began to get bored reading The Wise Man’s Fear,  and started flipping ahead to see where this was going. I was so disappointed that the book spent so much time at school, … Continue reading

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Portal 2

A damn good game. It’s just so nice to play new single-player content from Valve again. It doesn’t break new ground in the way the original did, but it’s smart and funny and engaging in a way that few games are, or even aspire to be. Continue reading

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Dragon Age 2: Conclusions

Like I said last time, Dragon Age 2 presents strong companions who are, at times, fanatically committed to their various causes. My greatest complaint about the game is how weak Hawke seems in comparison. Continue reading

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Dragon Age 2: Companions

(Spoilers for the entire game)
I did a lot of complaining last time, and I’ve got some more to come next time when I talk about the overall narrative of the game, and the structure of Act 3 in particular, but this time I want to talk about an element of the game that I really liked – so much so that it just about outweighs all of the negatives. Companion characters have been a highlight of every Bioware RPG going back to Baldur’s Gate. Dragon Age 2 continues in this fine tradition. In addition to being well-acted and written, the companions of Dragon Age 2 particularly distinguish themselves by being strong personalities. They’re willing to defy Hawke, and take initiative to solve their problems even if Hawke won’t help them. They believe so strongly in their causes that they’re willing to kill for them, and to die for them, or worse. My big complaint in this context is how weak and uncommitted they make Hawke look in comparison. Hawke may be the person every calls when they need something done, but she never takes the initiative herself. She’s perpetually reactive, unwilling to even try to get out ahead of events, to take radical action to further the causes she supports.

After the jump, I go through the companions one by one: Continue reading

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Dragon Age 2: Miscellany

This is the first of probably three Dragon Age 2 wrap-up. The other two are going to about the characters and the story, but before getting into the heavier stuff, I though I’d do a catch-all wrap-up post addressing all the various other issues about the game. Continue reading

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